It’s officially summer. School is out, days are long, and temperatures are rising. It’s the perfect time to sit down and read a story. We have been revisiting our New Voices section, which consistently publishes fresh fiction and nonfiction from emerging authors online. We’ve compiled a list of five solid summer reads from the New Voices archives here.
“Tierkling” by Justine McNulty
A group of boys is out of school for the summer. They spend their days at an arcade, wondering about the lives of the animals in the adjacent exotic pet store. Don’t those creatures, too, deserve to be free?
“We were certain it was the glass that confined them that lead to this lethargy, that the cages themselves somehow stifled the creature’s vigor. The wildness we knew was lying just beneath the surface—the wildness we felt in ourselves as we raced down the backstreets on our bikes, hooting and laughing, trying to stick our sneakers in between the flickering slats of each other’s tires, clanging sticks along mailboxes—yearned to be released.”
Read the story here.
“Someone To Listen” by Phil Quam
In Phil Quam’s essay, a summer trip to a cabin by the Shenandoah River serves as the backdrop for his moving meditation on two stories of loss.
“McNab’s cabin sat above the Shenandoah River, atop cut bank along the south fork that had been carved out over time by flood and drought. If everything was quiet enough on the porch, you heard the water making its run. But any noise made by man—conversation, a whirring hum of traffic on the bridge—and the river’s allegro was subsumed. It was here that my father and I found Doc Story, after we arrived at the cabin one afternoon in June, 1991, in the year after my brother, Jeff, drowned in the lake behind my childhood home, and ten years before Doc took his own life.”
Read the essay here.
“Shine” by Ron A. Austin
In this story, a boy sets out on his bike to bring his rebellious sister home. “Shine” is remarkable for its unique and energetic voice, full of character and heart.
“I rode past dead zones, defunct storefronts and buildings like sick men with twisted bones. Weeds tangled through my spokes, honeysuckle exploded through chain-link fences, and wild chicory blazed ethereal blue. I turned onto Garrison and hit a filthy mess of kids playing freeze tag.”
Read the story here.